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33% of researchers are women, but only 12% are academics

33% of researchers are women, but only 12% are academics

Within the framework of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which was declared by the United Nations in 2015, with the aim of recognizing the key role that women play in the scientific and technological community, Every year on February 11, we recognize the opportunity to promote the full and equal access and participation of women and girls in this field, and to break down the barriers they continue to face.

Since the mid-twentieth century, interest in ending injustice against women and achieving equality between men and women has sparked strategies to reduce inequality of opportunity in the scientific field.

Although significant changes in gender issues in our societies in the 21st century are undeniable, the outlook remains gray in STEM fields. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) have been perpetually affected by gender biases that exclude women and girls from these fields of knowledge.

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Inequality in access to education, technologies, and leadership positions has stunted the prospects and advancement of countless brilliant minds of this type into STEM careers.

According to recent figures issued by the United Nations, women represent 33.3% of all researchers, and occupy only 12% in scientific academies.

Thus, for example, in the field of health, Ana Dolores Roman, Managing Director of Pfizer in Colombia and Venezuela, points out that “it is necessary to understand that, when really talking about sustainable development, as proposed by the United Nations General Assembly in Its 2030 agenda “Involving women and girls from around the world is essential, as well as access to education and training in all science and technology disciplines.”

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It must be taken into account that medical innovation has radically changed life in modern society, favoring the path towards disease prevention, diagnosis and control; In fact, scientific and technological development is a virtuous circle, as scientific research has proven itself as the best model for advancing knowledge in the various sciences and disciplines that make up human knowledge.

Innovation in medicine has transcended society due to great achievements and scientific advances that have enabled humanity to increase life expectancy and quality of life.

Although indicators are vital in science and technology activities and variables are essential for defining roles in these activities, it is essential for experts to keep in mind that developing indicators that show the status of women in science is crucial. Recently. Only in Europe do initiatives to implement scientific and gender indicators date back to the late 1990s.

In the context of Latin America, especially in Colombia, this area related to women and science has been little explored, and therefore lines of research on this topic are still scarce.

According to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, in Colombia, by 2022, women represent 80% of human talent in health, and their participation in professions, such as medicine, was 53.5%.

These numbers illustrate the importance of women's participation in the health system in different scenarios. For example, it is stated that for every man working in this sector, there are four women working in this field. In more detailed figures, a total of 655,000 women were registered that year in the unified national register of human talents in the field of health.

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Although the role of women in the health sector is becoming increasingly important thanks to the progress achieved in recent years, the total number of female researchers in the field of science is still very small. In fact, to date, only 22 people have won a Nobel Prize in a scientific discipline, and only 35% of students in STEM-related professions are women.

Inequality between men and women continues to cause important challenges, as horizontal and vertical segregation remain a barrier, and female researchers are in the minority in many STEM fields in almost all countries in the region.

There is no doubt that women and girls play an essential role as agents of change and their contribution is crucial to the scientific and technological communities, which is why it is necessary to enhance their participation in these academic disciplines.

For experts, One of the great contributions of today's women is to give a voice to the great scientific women, both past and present, who have made and continue to leave an important mark in such a competitive world.

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